Coroner releases cause of death for Bakersfield Attorney Benjamin Greene

Weather was 105°F-110°F
Posted at 9:57 AM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-13 21:08:30-04

UPDATE (October 13, 2017 5:30 p.m.): Benjamin Greene was participating in a 5K run at Hart Park when he collapsed. 

Greene was transported to Kern Medical where he died. 

The Coroner performed an autopsy and determined the cause of death was Hypertensive and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease with contributing factors of Methamphetamine and Phentermine intoxication.  The manner of death is accident.


Bakersfield attorney Benjamin Greene died Tuesday evening while running in a 5k race at Hart Park.

Greene posted on his FB page Tuesday that he was set to run a 5k at Hart Park in 110° heat.

Multiple sources have also confirmed the passing of Greene including his wife Michelle.

On Tuesday, 23ABC News received a call regarding someone who was receiving CPR out at the Bakersfield Track Club.

Bakersfield Track Club releases statement surrounding Greene's death

Other attorneys who were at the run said that Greene appeared fine before his passing.

Greene was also a deputy public defender for Kern County and had been practicing law in Bakersfield for upwards of 10 years.

The Kern County Coroner said that 48-year-old Greene started experiencing complications while running the 5k at Hart Park. Youngblood said that he became unresponsive and started to receive medical aid. 

A viewer contacted 23ABC News and said that he's run in the Summer Series for several years and everyone knows the risk involved.


The viewer who wanted to remain anonymous said that the organizers kept telling everyone to stay hydrated.

The viewer said, "(Greene) collapsed at the last water station. That is about 2.8 miles into the race. He only had .3 miles to go. When I got to the water stop he had just went [sic] down. We kept pouring cold water on him to cool him down. He was conscious the entire time. He was just not speaking too much nor did we wanted [sic] him to. A large crowd started to gather but we had to tell everyone to disperse and give him some space. The ambulance did take about 10 minutes to get there after the call was made."

Greene was taken to Kern Medical, but died a short time later.

On June 6, 2017 Greene competed in a similar race at placed 158 out of 299 runners.

Greene's wife Michelle told 23ABC NEWS:

We are all so shocked and hurting right now. My husband was an amazing husband, partner, best friend and father. He leaves behind myself and 9 children. The youngest being 5 year old triplets. He had a passion in life like no others. Always helping others with their life struggles and hardships. And a huge loss to us and the community over a 5k run that should of been canceled or bare minimum paramedics on site. We are all hurting deeply today.


The Bakersfield Track Club released a statement regarding the death of Greene:

On Tuesday evening, during the second 5k race of Bakersfield Track Club’s “Summer Series,” runner Benjamin Greene collapsed at the last aid station in Hart Park. He was immediately administered CPR by an off-duty firefighter before EMS could arrive. An ambulance took him to Kern Medical where he later died.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Greene’s family at this sad and difficult time,” said BTC Board President, Rey Rodriguez.

The track club’s “Summer Series” has been held for more than 30 years. The six races are held every other Tuesday from June through August. Normally, only three aid stations are set up during the summer races. Because of the heat, five aid stations were set up for yesterday’s race to provide the 180 runners with extra water, ice and Gatorade. Misting stations were also set up at the beginning and end of the course to assist the runners.

Prior to the race, runners were also encouraged to bring extra water on Bakersfield Track Club’s Facebook page.


This is a breaking news story, refresh the page as more information is made available.